These are the nominees for the "Game of the Year 2022
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These are the nominees for the "Game of the Year 2022

Ramon Schneider
Zurich, on 23.05.2022

The "Spiel des Jahres" is the Oscar award for board games and the most important award for analog games worldwide. These are the nominees for this year.

For 43 years, the association "Spiel des Jahres e. V." has been awarding prizes for the best board game novelties. The award consists of three categories: Game of the Year, Connoisseur's Game of the Year and Children's Game of the Year. Last year, Micro Macro, Paleo and Dragomino won the coveted titles. Three new games are nominated in each of the three categories, which must not be older than 12 months. The expert jury consists of 10 people who work as game critics for German media. Two of them can be seen on the cover: Christoph Schlewinski, coordinator of the children's game jury, and Harald Schrapers, chairman of the "Spiel des Jahres" association.

Game of the Year

Cascadia

What the jury says: "Cascadia is a true feel-good game. The game moves are always rewarding, even if the choices offered are not always suitably located. Particularly successful is the two-part puzzle task, for which a good balance must be found between the matching landscapes with the correct animal symbols. High replayability is ensured by the modular rule cards, which present players with new challenges each round, as well as an optional campaign."

  • 1 to 4 players
  • 10 years and up
  • 30 to 60 minutes

Familienspiel Cascadia – Im Herzen der Natur
41.10
Kosmos Familienspiel Cascadia – Im Herzen der Natur
3

Scout

What the jury says: "Emotions do somersaults when you manage to skillfully prepare your hand of cards and deliver the perfect show at the right moment. The short game duration ensures that Scout never frustrates, even despite the existing luck factor. The game principle, which seems unassuming in its simplicity, quickly unfolds a pull that leaves the group clamoring for more encores after the last act."

  • 3 to 5 players
  • Ages 9 and up
  • 15 to 30 minutes

    Currently, we don't have "Scout" in our product line yet. We are working on offering it as soon as possible.

    Top Ten

    What the jury says: "Top Ten is guaranteed fun. The editorially selected scenarios tickle unexpectedly creative answers and ideas out of all participants with a wide range of emotions. Sorting through the answers, even with very tight number spacing, creates a fantastic group feeling with many memorable moments to laugh about for years to come."

  • 4 to 9 players
  • 12 years and up
  • approx. 30 minutes

Kennerspiel of the year

Cryptid

This is what the jury says: "The high art in Cryptid is to elicit important information about the habitat of the mystical creature from the other players without revealing your own knowledge. It is immensely satisfying to gradually deduce the only logically conceivable location from the sea of clues. What starts out as a harmless collaborative task develops into a pleasantly challenging brainteaser as the game progresses."

  • 3 to 5 players
  • from 12 years
  • 30 to 50 minutes

Dune Empire

What the jury says: "Dune Imperium makes impressive use of its famous license to conjure up a playfully convincing version of the desert planet. Even people with no previous knowledge will find the story appealing and can get involved in the coherently implemented power struggles of the houses. The game convinces with its strategic depth and exciting conflicts, whose outcome is often surprising. The limitation to ten victory points ensures a high dynamic, a pleasant game duration and constant tension."

  • 3 to 4 players
  • 13 years and older
  • 60 to 120 minutes

Living Forest

This is what the jury says: "Three central factors make Living Forest thrilling and appealing: the exciting race to twelve points, the risky gambling while revealing cards, and the high interaction with the other players. Particularly motivating are the three different victory conditions, which ensure a high replay appeal and, depending on the course of the game, an ever-changing dynamic."

  • 2 to 4 players
  • from 10 years
  • 30 to 60 minutes

Children's game of the year

Clever too

What the jury says: "When children realize after two or three rolls of the dice what is being asked of them here, there is usually no stopping them. Each roll is analyzed more and more closely, compared more and more closely with their own piece of paper and, at some point, with those of the other children playing along. The theme of a child's birthday helps immensely, because every child can immediately identify with it. The children's game implementation of Wolfgang Warsch's success Ganz schön clever has become a successful and very independent children's game. This is a birthday you want to be invited to again and again."

  • 2 to 4 players
  • from 6 years
  • approx. 15 minutes

With Quacks and Co to Quedlinburg

This is what the jury says: "Children rarely reach for fruit and vegetables as much as they do here: It's wonderful how Wolfgang Warsch has compressed a connoisseur's game in a child-friendly way into a race that immediately captivates children thanks to its easy entry and comprehensible story. Thanks to many variants, it grows with their abilities. No nonsense: when luck sometimes shoots across and heads really smoke, this game shows its qualities."

  • 2 to 4 players
  • from 6 years
  • approx. 25 minutes

With Quacks Co to Quedlinburg
29.–
Schmidt Spiele With Quacks Co to Quedlinburg

Zauberberg

What the jury says: "In Zauberberg, the popular marble run is used in a new way. It becomes the setting for magical races: cooperatively, in teams or alone. The attractive game structure draws children to the game table and the innovative marble mechanism won't let them go in a hurry. Here, animated discussions about the placement of marbles are followed by spellbound glances at the marble run. It's a total package that keeps kids entranced."

  • 1 to 4 players
  • from 5 years
  • approx. 15 minutes

Assessment from the board game expert

To better classify the nominated games, I asked our board game expert Alessandro Grieco for his opinion. He is a passionate board and card player, organizes weekly game nights in private and has already written several game reviews for Galaxus.

What is your impression of the nominated games?
Alessandro Grieco: The jury has selected great games that could hardly be more different. If you add the list of recommendations to the nominees, they have selected games from two minutes to several hours. A good mix, with something for everyone, I'm sure.

Are you missing a game that you personally would have nominated?
I was surprised that Arche Nova only ended up on the list of recommendations and was not nominated for Kennerspiel des Jahres. Throughout the gaming world, this game is highly praised and many of my acquaintances saw this as a favorite. Another game that I missed is Welcome to the Moon. In it, you have to play through various scenarios from the launch of the rocket to the completion of the base on the moon. A connoisseur game that should have been nominated in my opinion.

Did you discover anything new among the nominees or have you already played all the games before?
If I'm honest, I haven't played any of the nominees yet. Except for Scout, I have heard and read about all of them. But to change that, I ordered all the games right after the nominations were announced. So I'm going to spend a lot of time with them in the coming months.

Which games do you think will win the individual categories?
For the Kennerspiel des Jahres, I hope it will be Dune Imperium. It reminds me a lot of Ruins of Arnak, which is also a deckbuilding game. New to Dune, however, is combat, which adds another layer to the game. Cryptid is too niche in my opinion and Living Forest is too colorful and cheerful for a connoisseur game. The game of the year will probably be Cascadia. The way the jury has chosen the game of the year in the last years, Cascadia fits exactly into their concept. Children's games interest me rather less, so I can't give an assessment on those.

You'll find out whether our board game expert is right with his assessment on July 16, 2022, when the Game of the Year, together with the Kennerspiel des Jahres, will be announced in a livestream on their YouTube channel. You'll find out which game will be named Children's Game of the Year a month earlier, on June 20, 2022. Can't remember last year's winners? You can read about all the games here.

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Riding my motorbike makes me feel free, fishing brings out my inner hunter, using my camera gets me creative. I make my money messing around with toys all day.


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